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Old 04-17-2017, 02:52 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 14,840
I see articles and essays from time to time, speculating on what a universe might be like if some of the fundamental facts were just a little bit different from what they are in this universe, and they often suggest that with slight variations in those facts, life couldn't exist. Basically, the "anthropic principle" (AIUI) says that all sentient observers must necessarily see a universe where life can exist because those are only kind of universes in which the sentient observers themselves can exist. (Duh.)

What I see mentioned less often is that, in a universe with slightly different fundamentals, there's a good chance that nothing could exist at all (meaning, at least, nothing like "matter" as we know it). Quantum physics tells us that the universe, at some fundamental level, is really nothing more than "complex probability density distribution fields", all vibrating and interacting in various ways, and that "matter" is nothing more than spots where it gets a little more dense than elsewhere, and becomes somewhat stable and persistent.

Change some basic constants, and that doesn't happen. You could end up with a universe full of fields that don't "congeal" to create anything.

What a waste of a universe!

The Known (Apparently-) Elementary Particles

The Known Particles If The Higgs Field Were Zero

by Professor Matt Strassler. (He has a whole series of on-line essays about particle physics, starting here. -- Very clearly written, at a good level for lay audiences.)